For summer 2016, UK clothing company Altura has revamped their mountain bike trail shorts offering a bit of flexibility. Now their 3 mountain bike shell shorts can be combined with any of their 3 padded liner shorts or 1 pair of trail bibs to snap together into the perfect setup for any type of ride or rider.
The new Altura Snap Technology incorporates a pair of low-profile plastic snaps on each hip that firmly lock in place and keep the outer baggies in place.
The modularity will let riders choose the liners that the prefer, and even mix-and-match with different shells. That might even be especially useful if you are riding multiple days and can easily snap in a fresh pair of liners without having to buy a second pair of shell shorts.
The shell shorts come in three styles: the Apache, Attack One/80, and Attack Three/60 Shield. The Apache is the lowest priced at 75€ and are a very light and stretchy outer short with a relaxed fit. They are available in a gray prism pattern or solid black. The Attack One are still a relatively light short, but gets a bit more reinforcement. The 105€ shorts use a slightly heavier and water repellent stretch fabric and have a reinforced Cordura seat. The red or black shorts get a similar relaxed fit, but add zipped vents on the legs to gain back air flow. The heaviest Attack Three Shield shorts sell for 140€ and are made of a 2-layer soft shell fabric for even more protection from the elements. They also get key seams sealed to keep out water, a Cordura-reinforced seat, pockets with storm flaps, and zippered leg vents, and are available in red and black as well.
For the liner layers, the 32€ Hammock uses an extra light, breathable mesh to hold a dual-density Comp level 3D chamois pad and 50€ Lunchbox ProGel shorts which use a similar, although less open mesh material and step up to the multi-density ProGel 3D pad. The lunch box shorts take their name from a pocket on each leg designed to stash a ride-fueling snack. The more expensive 75€ Protector ProGel liner shorts use that same ProGel 3D pad, but get an again heavier base material that adds on molded EVA foam padding at the hips to protect you in a crash. Each of the three shorts uses silicon grips at the leg and waist to keep them in place.
For those who don’t want to compression at the waist of a pair of shorts, Altura has their 125€ Tech 5 bibs that use the same heavier wicking fabric and ProGel 3D pad of their better shorts, but adds in 5 “on-body” pockets to haul gear. The small pockets on each hip, at the lower leg cuff, and at the double-side accessible pocket on the lower back are designed to eliminate the need for a backpack and let you carry the essentials close to your body. The bibs have a solid wicking fabric chest and bib straps with zip access in the front and a single wide mesh strap at the back.